11:42 AM

Student Art on View at O'Kane Gallery


By Sheryl E. Taylor

The O'Kane Gallery is continuing a UHD tradition—2017 Student Exhibition—that's been showcasing student art for more than two decades.

This year's exhibition features more than a 150 selected works—watercolor, graphic design, photography, digital art, figure drawing, painting, design, drawing, studio special topics, and for the first-time, costume design and stagecraft by UHD visual art and theater students.

O'Kane curator and director Mark Cervenka left the actual selection of the art for the show in the hands of his fellow faculty members. According to Cervenka, he only provided the wall space dimensions to fill in the gallery.

"This is an opportunity for our students to present their work in a professional setting and experience being part of a juried exhibition," said Cervenka, associate professor of art.

This year's exhibition was judged by Amanda Thomas, director of Impact Programming for AIGA Houston and graphic designer at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, who had the challenging task of choosing the winners in six categories: theater, graphic design, drawing, watercolor/painting, independent study, and photography/digital art.

"It was a treat to see students' engagement with multiple mediums," said Thomas. "I applaud the opportunity UHD creates for students to explore multiple modes of making art! At this stage in their careers, it's highly productive and fruitful for students to engage multiple mediums so they may find unexpected strengths. It's through this exploration that students can become multidisciplinary and not confine themselves to one type of creating. An illustrator can also be a wonderful ceramicist or a designer can be an expert photographer. I find the best creatives often find multiple modes of expression, and that this, too, strengthens their main creative focus."

Beginning with coloring books and evolving into sketching, UHD student Gabriel Morales, grew an appreciation and an attachment to art, which has evolved into a fine arts degree that he will earn this May. In the exhibition, Morales' watercolor branding project, "allowed me to further improve my graphic design skills and challenge myself as a painter."

"I knew I wanted a future in art, but had no idea what that meant," said Morales. "But, majoring in fine art enabled me to sample various forms of art from painting to music to even acting. Thanks to great courses with professors who challenged me creatively; I discovered my career in graphic design."

Congratulations to the 2017 UHD Student Exhibition Awardees!

Theater/Costume Design

First Place: Jennifer Mendoza

Graphic Design

First Place: Ashley Stahle

Honorable Mention: Adrienne Marty


First Place: Margoth Ayala


First Place: Yarian Garcia-Alayon

Honorable Mention: Maria Sampling

Photography/Digital Art

First Place: Huy Bui

Honorable Mention: Kristian Dumas

Independent Study

First Place: Faith Pruneda

Honorable Mention: Diana Perez

Honorable Mention: Adrienne Marty

The show will run through May 4. O'Kane Gallery hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday-Friday and noon - 5 p.m. on Saturday.